12 Trending Online Businesses You Can Start In 2021 With Less Than $100

Starting an online business in 2021 makes perfect sense. 2020 taught us that life is precious, in-person socializing is a privilege, and having only one source of income that's dependent on an employer is risky!

Whether you want full-time income that allows you more freedom or  a side-hustle that can bring in good money without a whole lot of exhausting effort, an online business is the way to go.

You may be wondering, after such a tumultuous 2020, is starting an online business even safe right now?

My answer...

Abso-f*ckin-lutely, it's safe!

In this article, not only will I give you 12 ideas for businesses you can start online with less than $100 in 2021, but I'll show you the trends in keyword searches related to each idea.

Why is that important? Because trends in keyword searches are indicative of trends in demand. The more people there are searching those keywords, the more demand there likely is for the product. Make sense?

Okay, let's go!

1. Online Tutoring Service

Due to the pandemic, lots of schools had to close for a big chunk of 2020. This resulted in, already stressed, parents holding the bag and having to home school their kids.

Naturally, this drastically different learning experience has left many students feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with where they should be academically. These students will need help where they've fallen behind. Offering an online tutoring service would be a great way to help these students get back on track.

You could easily set up a very simple, one page website that details your offering and allows potential clients to contact you and pay you online. You could tutor your clients via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any of the many, many video call apps that exist.

Google trends shows that people have searched for online tutors more in 2020 than in the previous 2 years. 

2. Start a T-Shirt (or Apparel Business)

T-shirts will never not be in demand. They're comfortable, they can be stylish, and they're a staple in everyone's wardrobes.

This is why there will always be money to be made in selling t-shirts. What's great about t-shirts is, starting an online t-shirt shop doesn't have to be complicated or expensive when you use print on demand (POD) as your method of printing and fulfilling orders.

Print On Demand is a variation of dropshipping, meaning you work with a supplier who prints and ships your t-shirts directly to your customers. You never buy inventory, you never have to print t-shirts, and you never even have to touch a t-shirt if you don't want to.

All you need to do is either create the designs for your t-shirts of hire someone to do it for you. You can hire designers for really reasonable rates and get great designs on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.

Once you have your designs, you would create mockup photos of your t-shirts and load those photos onto your website. Once you've got the photos on your website listed as products, it's time to promote your brand and send targeted traffic to your site to generate sales.

And you're not just limited to selling t-shirts using this method. You can sell baseball caps, jerseys, jackets, hoodies, leggings, dresses, and much, much more. To get help starting your online t-shirt shop, click here.

Google Trends shows that people are always searching for t-shirts. Combine your niche plus "t-shirts" in your Google Trends search to get a better picture of whether there's demand for your idea.

3. Sell Custom Home Decor

That brings us to selling home decor online.

Just like t-shirts, you can sell home decor using POD suppliers. So the same benefits of selling t-shirts or apparel would apply to selling home decor - very low costs and you never have to buy inventory or touch the product.

You could sell wall art, blankets, throw pillows, sheets, towels, shower curtains, rugs, bean bags and more using the same steps as t-shirts.

Google Trends shows that "home decor" is pretty highly searched for. It also shows an uptick in searches for 2020.

4. Become a Virtual Assistant

Have an undeniable knack for getting sh*t done? If so, becoming a virtual assistant could be your key to building a booming online business!

You could focus on offering your services within a single niche, like health care, real estate, or even ecommerce. It's a great idea to choose a niche in which you're already well-versed, so you can sell yourself as having experience in the industry and you'll be much more effective.

And one great thing about starting a virtual assistant business is that you get to learn from other business owners who are already successful. Another is that you can grow your business pretty easily by adding additional assistants to your team.

Google Trends shows a gradual, steady uptick in searches for "virtual assistant" from 2018 to 2021.

5. Sell House Plants

If you've got a green thumb, or the desire to grow one, house plants may be a great niche for you. People who love house plants, loooove house plants, and there's a whole community of those people hanging out on social. You could tap into that audience and buy or grow house plants then sell them online.

Buying seeds and inexpensive planters could get you started with very little upfront investment. Once you have your plants, take pictures of them and build a website to display your product. Then leverage the power of social media pages, groups, and message boards to build your own audience of eager fans and customers.

Google Trends shows a marked increase in searches for houseplants in 2020. Although there was a sharp spike earlier in 2020 and a trend downward, there are still more searches than in the previous years (2018 and 2019).

6. Sell Indoor Gardening Supplies

 What's better than an outdoor garden? An indoor garden!

Indoor gardening is exactly what it sounds like. It's the practice of growing a garden indoors, and just like house plants, there's an entire community of people who love doing it.

People grow veggies like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, as well as herbs like sage, rosemary, and...well...weed. The setup for these indoor gardens can range from a simple planter to complex hydroponic systems complete with lighting.

To get started selling indoor garden supplies on a tight budget, consider dropshipping them. Again, dropshipping means you don't buy inventory. You, essentially, list the product on your website, promote the product, then once you get sales, your supplier ships the product directly to your customers.

If you're interested in dropshipping indoor garden supplies, check out the supplies Aliexpress has available. If you prefer to buy inventory, try looking around on Alibaba. They'll have a lot of the same products Aliexpress has.

Google Trends shows that there was an increase in searches for indoor gardens in 2020.

7. Sell Sex Toys

Sex toys don't need a whole lot of explanation, but what you may not have known is that you can dropship these products. You can use Aliexpress, or if you're in the United States, there are suppliers you can use who are located in the US.

The challenges you'll face with selling sex toys is in advertising. Social media networks don't like sex toys, so you'll have to get creative with your use of social media so you aren't posting pictures that violate their terms of service. This is where building a community and building your email list will be crucial to your success.

When you get it right though, selling sex toys can be very lucrative - and the Google Trends graph illustrates why. Sex toys are always highly searched for!

8. Sell Loungewear

2020 required people to stay home more than ever before. People were forced to work from home, go to school at home, workout at home, everything at home.

Because people have been spending much more time at home, it only makes sense that the demand for loungewear would increase. No one wants to put on a suit to go take a Zoom call in the living room, so having great looking, comfortable clothing to wear at home is a must.

Use a dropshipping or POD supplier to source your products, then once you get your website built, start promoting to people are spending much more time at home these days.

Google Trends shows shows that the upward trend in searches for loungewear is still on a steady incline.

9. Sell Rolling Trays

Not a tray that rolls, but a tray that you roll on!

A rolling tray is a tray smokers use to roll their "cigarettes". If you know any CBD or weed smokers, you know this is another very passionate niche of people. And there's no shortage of online communities centered around this topic.

These trays would be easy to dropship from a site like Aliexpress because they're inexpensive and easy to ship. Check out just how inexpensive these trays can be in the screenshot below. And I was able to find similar trays to the ones listed at $1.01 for upwards of $10 each.

Google Trends indicates that rolling trays are in demand right now, with a large increase in the number of searches over the last 18 months.

10. Gaming Accessories (Gaming Mouse)

 By now, you should have noticed that one of the things many of the products on this list have in common is that there's a passionate niche community of people who use the product. That's no different when it comes to gaming accessories.

Many gamers spend hours and hours playing, so it's important that they have the equipment they need to successfully play the games they love but also so that they're comfortable while they play.

You can set up an online shop dropshipping the various accessories they need - like a gaming mouse, a good set of gaming headphones, a gaming chair, and more! Just like some of the other products on this list, there are plenty of online communities for gamers, so finding those communities would be a good place to start looking for customers.

Google Trends shows that there's usually a steady number of searches for "gaming mouse" but searches increased slightly throughout 2020 and then increased greatly at the end of 2020 (likely due to the release of a very popular new gaming system).

11 & 12. Sell Projectors and Projector Screens


 So we've established that people are spending much more time at home, these days, than they did pre-covid. That means more at-home, family entertainment like watching movies.

Starting an online shop selling projectors and projector screens could be a lucrative move. These are both products that could be dropshipped from Aliexpress or purchased, in inventory, from Alibaba.

Google Trends shows that there's always a good number of searches for both, projectors and projector screens, but those searches have increased over the last 12 months.

Now you've got a few niche ideas you can choose from to start your online business - even if you're on a very tight budget. If none of these ideas quite do it for you, take a few minutes to brainstorm and come up with more. Then use Google Trends to see if there's demand for the ideas you come up with.

I created a free worksheet to help you as you brainstorm ideas and research demand. Just click here to download it.

For more help starting your online business, visit BYOB School.


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